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Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC)
                           Equality, Justice and Peace



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Day of Remembrance articles: A special joint performance by San Jose Taiko and Aswat Ensemble
  The shocking story about  the United States government's abduction of Japanese Latin Americans
  Remembrance Speaker: Lawson Sakai
  Richard Konda: Speak Out For Justice
38th Annual San Jose
Day of Remembrance

"Speak Out For Justice"
  2018 Day of Remembrance
Sunday, February 18, 2018
5:30 p.m - 7:30 p.m

San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin
640 North Fifth Street
San Jose, CA
  The 38th Annual San Jose Day of Remembrance event commemorates both the 30th anniversary of the landmark Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and the 76th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066. The order led to the forced removal and incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II.  Hundreds of people will gather together at this annual event not only to remember that great civil liberties tragedy, but also to reflect on the rising tensions that are building within our communities today.

The 2018 event carries the theme, "Speak Out For Justice." During these tumultuous times, ordinary people, many of whom were silent in the past, are now making their voices heard. We have been seeing a great social movement on many fronts and we are hearing the large number of voices speaking out against the unequal treatment and harrassment of women and they are saying 'No' to racism, homophobia, and Islamaphobia.  From #MeToo to the travel ban protests at airports, people are mobilizing and rising up from within their own communities to effect change.
  A special joint performance between
San Jose Taiko and Aswat Ensemble
  The 38th annual San Jose Day of Remembrance will feature a special joint performance by Aswat, the Bay Area's premier Arab music ensemble, and San Jose Japantown's internationally recognized, San Jose Taiko.

In the following article, San Jose Taiko's artistic director, Franco Imperial, describes how this unique collaboration between these two innovative musical groups got started.
The Aswat Ensemble
San Jose Taiko

By Franco Imperial
Artistic Director
San Jose Taiko
  SJ Taiko Artistic Directory Franco Imperial
In 2015, I attended a Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) fundraiser banquet where San Jose Taiko had been requested to perform. At this banquet, Taiko musically represented the Japanese American community who are recognized as the first group of people to support Muslim/Arab American communities in the events following 9/11. I learned about this special relationship at Day of Remembrance events in San Jose Japantown when I first heard Maha Engenaidi (Founder of Islamic Networks Group) speak at the 2004 event. To hear it explained as a point of gratitude at such a major CAIR event made me very proud of Japantown and I was deeply moved by the connection between our communities.
Aswat Ensemble
Aswat Ensemble
Rather than perform that evening, Executive Director Wisa Uemura and I decided to support the event by attending as guests. The emcee had just introduced San Jose Taiko and  eloquently recognized the connection between our communities.  I was on an emotional high. While I felt like an outsider at the beginning of the evening, I now felt like a welcomed guest.  Read More...
San Jose Taiko
San Jose Taiko

Featured Speaker: Bekki Shibayama
Bekki Shibayama is a member of NOC's Steering Committee and a representative of the Campaign for Justice: Redress NOW for Japanese Latin Americans. She will speak at the 2018 San Jose Day of Remembrance.
Speak Out For Justice
The  shocking story about
the United States government's
abduction of Japanese Latin Americans

By Bekki Shibayama
  Bekki and Art Shibayma before the 2017 hearing
    Bekki and Art Shibayama before the 2017 IACHR hearing
My father, Art Shibayama, was a 13-year old Peruvian citizen when he and his family were seized from their home in Lima during WWII. They were shipped across international waters on a U.S. Army transport and imprisoned as “potentially dangerous enemy aliens” in a Department of Justice concentration camp in the U.S. Yet their only "crime" was that they were of Japanese descent. The U.S. government planned to exchange them for U.S. citizens trapped in Japan.

My father and his family were still detained in Crystal City when the war ended and the U.S. government classified them as “illegal aliens.” When Peru would not allow those of Japanese ancestry to return home, they were rendered stateless. They fought deportation for over a decade until they were able to obtain U.S. permanent residency. Read More...
Japanese Latin Americans

 Featured Speaker: Lawson Sakai
Lawson Sakai Lawson Sakai  
Photo courtesy of Andy Frazer from his interview with Lawson Sakai    
The following  has been extracted from the National Veterans Network.
On December 8, 1941 (the day after Pearl Harbor), Lawson Sakai tried to enlist in the
military service and was rejected based on a government classification that
he was an enemy alien. His family evacuated to Colorado in 1942.
In March 1943, enlistment opportunities opened up for Japanese
Americans to serve in a segregated unit. Lawson immediately volunteered
for 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He was overseas in May 1944 until
November 1945.

While overseas, he served in all of the 442nd campaigns in Italy and
France, including the liberation of Bruyeres, France, and the rescue of the
Lost Battalion where he was seriously injured.

During the war he was wounded four times, and received a Bronze Star,
a Purple Heart and a Combat Infantryman Badge.  After leaving the service, he attended
Pepperdine College and operated a travel agency in San Jose, California.
  Thoughts on the "Day of Remembrance: Speak Out For Justice" theme by Richard Konda
  San Jose Day of Remembrance candlelighting ceremony   Richard Konda, the executive director of the Asian Law Alliance and a founding member of NOC, wrote the following article that addresses the theme of this year's Day of Remembrance program, "Speak Out For Justice."
  Photo by Andy Frazer

As of the writing of this article we need to continue to remember how and why the U.S. government incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War 2. We remember the brutal treatment of our community – detained in converted horse stalls – living in desolate and remote concentration camps.

We also need to remember:

  • The 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students who currently live in fear of deportation because of the Trump Administration’s termination of the program. DACA recipients have also been called “Dreamers” because of legislation in Congress known as the “Dream Act.”
  • Immigrants and refugees in our community living in fear of deportation because of the increased enforcement by the Trump Administration.
  • The refugees and immigrants excluded from the US because of the Trump administration’s Muslim Travel Ban.

The Day of Remembrance is an event that aims to bring different communities together in order to build trust, respect, and understanding among all people and to renew our pledge to fight for equality, justice, and peace.

  Candlelight procession in San Jose Japantown     Candlelighting ceremony honors each camp
  Traditional candlelight procession through San Jose's historic Japantown. Photo courtesy of Andy Frazer.     A candle is lit in memory for each of the camps.
Photo courtesy of Andy Frazer.

No Muslim Registry! No Deportations! Camp tag Sign the "No Muslim Registry! No Deportations!" camp tags at the Day of Remembrance event
We the People: Women's March 
We The People image created by Shepard Fairey. Amplfier Foundation. 
Right: NOC members at the San Jose Women's March on January 20, 2018
NOC members at the San Jose Women's March
Films of Remembrance
San Jose Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC) P.O. Box 2293, San Jose, CA  95109

E-Mail: info@sjnoc.org

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
                                                                           - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.